Valerie Link&Mathias Edenborn in Phantom of the Opera


As requested by anon: Degas photos from West End. 


Harriet Jones in both her old and new wedding dress. 

And I lied, I DID have a curtain call photo of her. 


Reasons Stage Show!Christine is My Favorite Christine:

I just really felt like illustrating some of the moments in the stage show where we see Christine’s strength of character. She can be compassionate and scared and angry and all of these things just make her human.

1. "Always has her head in the clouds…" She’s no stranger to pain and loss, and unfortunately those experiences helped shape who she is at the start of the show. She’s incredibly naive for believing that her father actually sent her an angel, but she’s allowed to be. It’s not an unforgivable quality, but a realistic one. She’s still grieving for a tremendous loss in her life. It’s understandable that she would jump at the chance to keep trying to hold on to this piece of him.

2. Returning the Mask. I think Christine returning the mask to him is such an underrated moment. I didn’t used to appreciate it until either Hal or Gillian explained in a documentary that this was meant to be the moment when he first falls in love with her. Between the unmasking and its consequences, she understands all the things that make him human, his tragedy, his hopes and his flaws (the anger of his immediate reaction is the big one here). Armed with knowing the good and the bad, she doesn’t just choose to show him compassion but she also exhibits a profound understanding of his pain, returning the mask because she knows he needs his armor.

3. Il Muto. Probably a really minor one compared to the others, but I’ve always really respected any actress who really gets into the physical comedy of playing Serafimo. In the context of the show, Christine has just come back from an underground lair where all of her childhood fantasies have been pretty abruptly shattered and her singing teacher just traumatized the hell out of her with his UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE. And even though Serafimo’s the silent role, she shows how much of consummate professional she is by playing the best damn pageboy she can.

4. Standing up to Carlotta. One of Christine’s fiercest moments in the entire show, it’s not always played as intensely as I would like, but it always gets the same point across. She is SICK of taking people’s shit, and she’s definitely sick of Carlotta talking to her like that. This is the first time in the show where she really realizes she has every right to defend herself, she doesn’t owe anyone anything (LEAST of all Carlotta). In many ways it’s both a big step and a first step, a big step in that she really stands up for herself to a character that’s been pushing her around, and it’s a first step in her starting to realize she needs to stand up to more than just one person, which brings me to…

5. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. I’ve heard a lot of actresses take it as a chance to showcase voice over acting, which is so disappointing because we know this is the turning point in Christine’s character arc where she officially (and very emotionally) acknowledges she needs to let go of the past and grow up. And of course we all know the parallel is that she associates a lot of The Phantom’s guidance with her father’s nurturing, and she makes the conscious decision to force herself to cut those ties, especially with someone who is a damaged and damaging influence in her life. 

6. Shielding Raoul (or as I have lovingly dubbed it, “The Noose Trio”). This is just so important. The Phantom is deranged and homicidal at this point but her first instinct is still to THROW herself in front of Raoul. Those are the qualities of a hero. It also makes me think of that scene in Captain America where Steve jumps on the grenade to try and save everyone. That’s right guys, Christine is Captain America.

So to digress? I will always love the Hal Prince/Gillian Lynne directed Christine more than any other. In the course of one show, she’s been childish, naive, impulsive, compassionate, strong, fearless and loving. None of the “bad” qualities outweigh the good, they just make her human.